Monday, November 14, 2016

So Many Questions: Drink Deep Edition Part One


Hello, Saucy Readers! I am back once again with more questions and a few observations stemming from my Chicagoland Vampire re-read. This week's installment is part one of my questions from Drink Deep. You can catch up on all of the other questions, if you are behind. Here are the links for Hard Bitten Parts One and Two. Part one also has the links for all of the previous books' questions. ​I think it goes without saying that there are spoilers abound, but consider that your warning. Join me below to see what questions I had.




Is Franklin Cabot modeled after Dolores Umbridge?
Whatever the reason,Frank wasn't a good house guest. He was obnoxious, autocratic, and a stickler for rules I hadn't even known existed to the exclusion of everything else. Of course, I was becoming pretty well acquainted with them; Frank had papered one wall of the House's first floor with the new House rules and the punishments that went along with breaking them. The system was necessary, he'd said, because House discipline had been lackadaisical. 
Frank bears a striking resemblance to Dolores Umbridge. He's irritating. He makes up
ridiculous rules. He bans vampires from gathering in groups, just like Dolores did. He interviews all of the vampires, in a failed attempt to prove that Ethan was bad at his job. Just like Umbridge interviewed and evaluated all of the teachers in an attempt to prove Dumbledore's incompetence. And, eventually, he is run off by the very people he is trying to "help." So, in my estimation, Frank is the vampire version of Dolores Umbridge.

Can we please see Malik's wife, Aaliyah, again?
Malik's wife-- Aaliyah-- petite, gorgeous, and as humble as they came-- joined us on occasion, but she was absent tonight. Aaliyah was a writer who spent more time in their apartment than out of it. I could completely understand the urge to hunker down and avoid vampire drama.
I would love to see her again. I want to learn a lot about her. What does she write? Does she
write novels, journal articles, non-fiction, textbooks, instruction manuals, is she a journalist? Does she contribute to the Canon? How long have she and Malik been together? I believe I recall that they were turned together. How old are they? How long were they together before they were turned? Being with some literally forever is a pretty daunting proposition. Have they ever had regrets or wanted time apart? Can vampires get divorced? How many married vampires are there out there? Malik and Aaliyah are the only ones we've met, I think.

What is up with Merit's dreams?
My first dream of Ethan had been miraculous; we'd bathed in the sun-- a taboo to vampires. I'd savored that last memory of him.
What is going on with these dreams? Obviously, Ethan is connecting to her somehow, and
trying to warn her about what's happening. But, how is he doing it? Where is he at this point? Is he in heaven, some sort of purgatory? Is he in some kind of vampire in-between or afterlife? Is he in the Upside Down? Is he able to connect with anyone else from the House through their dreams? Or, is his emotional connection to Merit so strong that she's the only one he can connect to? I'd really love an explanation of these.

Does Mallory suspect that her work might have something to do with Merit's dreams?
".....On the other hand, dreaming is never just dreaming. There's always something more going on. The wanderings of the mind. The escapades of the soul. I've said it before and I'll say it again-- you and Ethan had some kind of connection, Mer. Not exactly a healthy connection, but a connection nonetheless."

Did the thought even enter her self-involved little head that her work might be causing these dreams? Does she have enough awareness that she would even consider this possibility? Also, how dares she say that Ethan and Merit's connection might be unhealthy! What the fuck, Mallory? I know she didn't like Ethan much at this point, but seriously, what the fuck kind of friend are you that you will say that to your grieving friend? Also, wherever Ethan is, does he know that it's Mallory doing this? Does he just know that something is going on, but now what is causing it?


What does Merit getting a demerit mean exactly?
The fact that I already had a demerit in my file for investigating Celina and pissing off the GP in the process also wasn't encouraging.
If she gets enough demerits does she have to stay after school for detention? A demerit in her file, really, GP? Really? She's an adult. You shouldn't be dealing in demerits. But, since you obviously think that you are running a boarding school and not a cadre of vampires, let's roll with this. So, really, what happens with these demerits? If someone gets too many demerits, what happens to them? Does the GP punish them in some way? Do they get excommunicated? Are they imprisoned or killed? Or, do they just have to come in on Saturday and end up making friends with a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal?


Do Grey and Navarre have protesters and paparazzi outside?
The protesters weren't the only ones out in force. We'd been the subject of picture- (and money-) hungry paparazzi for a while now; a corps of photographers was usually camped out on a corner near the House. Tonight, though, news trucks lined the street, reporters waiting to see vampire shenanigans.
Obviously, we spend a lot of time at Cadogan. But, we've been to both Grey and Navarre House by now and there was no mention of protesters or paparazzi at either one. Did Merit just not mention it, or are neither group at any other House? Do the protesters know where the other Houses are? Is that why they aren't there? Or, are they just banking on there being shenanigans at Cadogan and not anywhere else?

When did they test all of the guards ratings?
"I'm sure you've seen my file. I'm sure you know I'm rated a Very Strong Phys, a Strong Strat, and a Strong Psych because I can resist glamour..."
When did they do these test for ranking? Or, is it just something can be figured out without a test? If there is a test, what kind of test is it? How do you test a person's strategic thinking and their connections? Can you re-test if you don't like your results? Is there a way to improve your rankings? Or, would your rankings ever be down-graded for some reason? Is there some sort of annual or bi-annual testing done on all of the vampires or just the guards and senior staff? Was there a part of the commencement ceremony that we missed where they tested everyone?


What, exactly, are the shifters capable of?
"You can't turn a blind eye to who they are or what they are capable of. You are aware of the chemistry between nymphs and shifters?"
I feel like we haven't even begun to explore the capabilities of shifters. We only have a vague sense of what magic and power they have. We know they have a very deep connection to the earth and the magic contained in it. We know that some of them, at least, can foretell the future. They can heal some wounds by shifting. They have an intense chemical connection to the nymphs, as evidenced by Jeff's interactions with them. There have been several other innuendos to the vast amount of power the shifters have, when it comes to magic. We hear more about it when Mallory is staying with them, as part of her rehab/recompense. But, what exactly is that power? How vast is it? Is it even magic as we know it, from the sorcerers, or is it something else entirely?

When did Tate find out about Mallory?
"I'm not engaging in games with you, Tate."He clucked his tongue. "Don't you see, Merit? The games have already begun. And I believe it's my move."
Does he know, at this point, that it's Mallory doing this? Or, does he just know that someone is working to realign good and evil? Obviously, he can sense the shift, but, does he have some way to tell who is doing it? If he doesn't know now, when does he figure out that it's Mallory? When she gets caught and he escapes? When he sees her in Nebraska? Also, is this Dominic that we are seeing right now, not Seth? Or, is Seth just under the influence of the evil inside him? If Tate had been free while Mallory was wreaking all of this havoc, would he have been able to stop her or would he have helped her? 

A realization for me....
"Sorry, sorry," she said with a thick Chicagoan accent, the word sounding more like "sarry" than "sorry."
I knew I had a Chicago accent. Once, in college, I had a director tell an actor to model their
Chicago accent after mine. Then, I met my then boyfriend's family from Long Island. Thirteen years later, we still rag on each other for our accents. But, it was at this point that I realized my accent was pretty thick, as this is how I pronounce sorry. I legitimately can not pronounce it the other way. I'm not sure if there are any Hamilton fans amongst our readers, in My Shot when America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman, Lafayette, has trouble pronouncing anarchy, I can not pronounce it incorrectly, no matter how hard I try. It always comes out with the same A sound. I'm ok with it though. I'm proud of where I'm from and I have no problem sporting that evidence in my speech. 

How did Jeff and Catcher get hooked up with Chuck?
"We've started from less. Four years ago, we had no contacts, no friends, and no legitimacy. Sups were afraid of us. She might be able to take away our funding, but she can't turn back time."

How did Chuck meet Catcher and Jeff? Did they seek him out when he was named the Ombud or did he seek them out? If he went after them, how did he know they were in Chicago and who they were? Did Ethan tell Catcher that there had been an Ombud appointed? What about Jeff? How did he hear about this gig? How did they build their contacts and gain trust? Did they make house calls to all of the sups in the city? Did anyone refuse to see them? Can we get a prequel book about the Ombuddies? 

I wish we had learned more about complementary magic.
"But this," he began, picking up my hand and tracing a finger across my palm-- and sending frissons of magic down my body. "This is unexpected. The theory is that some vampires affect magic in complementary ways-- as if on the same frequency. It looks like we might have some of that."

I'm not sure if you Readers know this, but when Ethan died and this connection with Jonah
was sparked, I was excited at the prospect of Chloe Neill breaking the UF mold. I wanted Merit to move on and find another great love. I thought this scene was possibly the beginning of that. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Ethan is back, but I would have liked to explore this more. I would like to know more about complementary magic. What exactly is it? What does it mean for the two vampires that possess it? Would it be useful in a fight or something? Would they be able to wield magic more effectively? Would one person's magic have an impact on the other, like twins? How frequent is the occurrence of complementary magic?

And with that, I will conclude Part One of the Drink Deep questions. Stay tuned for Part Two! Did I miss anything that you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments below!

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